tv [untitled] November 11, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
>> good afternoon. this is our disaster council meeting of october 26. thank you all for coming. welcome to our emergency operations center. as you know we generally meet at city hall but today is a very special day that you will learn about as we unfold our agenda and thank you again for coming. i'm going to turn the table over to mayor lee who is going to give some opening remarks. >> thank you. good afternoon everyone and welcome to our turk street emergency operations center. first of all i want to thank everybody. anybody wearing orange gets a special treat in my eyes today. anyway
we're still celebrating and i never knew that wearing orange and the giants and sports will be so closely connected to what we do in emergency management but it is and it is for good reason because our city's success is really dependent upon inviting thousands more people here to enjoy our resources here in the city, to tax us a little bit on it, but this is what we do as a great international city. all of you have a very distinct role in all of this and it's my pleasure to begin telling you how proud i am and the months of september and particularly october have all been full of great events, and numerous events, and sometimes on schedules that while we had mentally took note they would be on the similar weekends, we were of course needing to really communicate with each other,
and make sure we did all the things in the background that no one ever sees and talks to each other to make sure things happen smoothly, and i want to give big kudos to ed risin and all the others in transportation and advising people to take public transportation and emphasize that in all of our major international and worldwide and world seize of events that happened in the city. >> >> whether it's america's cup or fleet week or some incredible music on the bluegrass side of the city as well as just neighborhood events that we continue to invite we shined very well because we did do the right emphasis and we encouraged all of the public safety departments to work well ahead of this, and i want to thank them for constantly keeping me and many of you on the sf alert program and texting us and making sure we were assured
that the critical departments were working together just in case and it's always about just in case. right herald? the red cross knows this more than anyone and it's about being prepared and again i want to give great kudos to all the public safety divisions of the city from the police and fire to the paramedics working behind the scenes and people out on the streets from dwp and to building inspection and you have to inspect some of the structures that go up whether it's putting on a bmx bike or skate board and allowing a hill of dirt to become controversy in front of city hall. i didn't know that. to our public works area that make sure that we are doing everything right on the streets and accounting for both pedestrian and the various
traffic modes that we have. it's all being under the bright umbrella of dm and that's why we are here to today to make sure people continue this as the world series hasn't ended yet but let's say we are doing other plans as well that will complement what i hope is the wonderful conclusion of these games and speaking of that i know the world series will be talked about in more detail and it's in front of us. we have a viewing opportunity at civic center for potentially i think this sunday and hopefully people who want to and would like to share in the enthusiasm of our team will come down to civic center and basicked around in orange as the twilight occurs and the viewing of the game
happens. otherwise i think everyone going to be at their favorite watering holes and dinner places when this all happens. obviously the police are working very hard as well and not only focused on the series but they have to be focused on certain parts of our communities that oftentimes flare up and i commend them and the district that was part of the shootings and curtail that pattern and follow up with the agencies and the community base agencies and the youth and violence prevention agencies that deanna is heading up in our office and paul and the others working hard at doing this, but again we ask for everybody's help. if you really are concerned or see anything that we need to get done please let us know possible public and
private side. i also want to complement our private sector. i was there at the building operations, owners, manager's association just yesterday and when we called out for san francisco orange pride week gosh we got a lot of volunteers and that enthese yusm has helped and even larry baer said "i can't believe the number of buildings and the opera hall and the ferry building and the private buildings and coit tower and voluntarily celebrated with us, so that is incredible unity in the city. moving to another topic because we will cover these later i wanted to make sure i mentioned that within these last few months through the cooperation of our city administrator naomi kelly we have appointed a manager of the caps program, and of course
that is the community action plan for seismic safety. it is a plan we wanted to make sure that was lead by someone who can immediately get on the ground and figure out all of the things that we need to do to make sure the soft story buildings which are the most important focus that we have to have for the next seismic event and starts with that planning with all of us, so i wanted to make sure to introduce and congratulate patrick otiline who has come aboard to take care of this incredible responsibility. patrick, thank you very much for being here today. [applause] i will note that currently the caps program is lodged under city mmptdor's office and a conversation i had when i was city administrator and we wanted to put it at a place, but it is there for now, but with patrick's help we will make sure
that program flourishes at the right place and with all the different resources that we have to have along with my commitment we will have appropriate legislation in due time when we are ready when placed out before the voters what we require but we will do that in collaboration and not talking out because it is expensive and we know lives are at stake and we have to do it the right way and have a program that will work for everybody. now, i also want to say to you that there has been a person certainly in my own career as a public servant that has been impactful. i met rear admiral john banoff in 89 after the earthquake. he was still with the navy.
helped us tremendously with a aircraft carrier and the work in recovery, and in 1992 mayor jordan sought to seek his leadership and have him head up what is today our dem but at that time it was the office of emergency services so for five years i got to work with admiral bit off and lead the effort at oes but at the time that we really required some strong leadership because it was shortly after the 101 california shootings that we realized very clearly different agencies within the city had to speak more deliberately with each other, had to have systems and communications and culture built around much more collaboration, particularly with communication. well, that spawned this particular building, and its housing of
not only the emergency management, but its physical location of our 911 emergency dispatch system which is right upstairs, and that was started on and under the leadership of admiral bit dlf off. it was concluded very well. he then went on to what i say was parallel to me because i thought i was having the best job of my life of purchaser and we all got a different call and he went to the school district and we had fun with the most difficult assignments we could get, and if you ever work with the school district, and i know the school district is here it's a hard job, but it's one that he focused on with respect to their assets, their property, their role in emergency management and has faithfully well represented
them for all these years and i think it was later, earlier last year you sought that big "r" admiral to retire and i know you're here with your wife maureen. thank you very much for being here. i would lieg to commend the admiral for all your years, for the critical years and being a friend to us because you have always been very approachable. for those that work in civic life for years appreciate the people that have a complete open door, don't wall themselves off because of their expertise and know that we all need to be educateed in the different roles and you have been doing that and you have been a friend to me when i was learning to expand our roles and whether it was dpw or the human rights commission you have been a great friend to the city, so
with they would like you to come forward and receive due recognition with a special proclamation and as you come forward and due to his wonderful history here not only will we present this proclamation in our appreciation but we would like to announce in concert with our dm staff and crew and all of you here we are dedicating the naming of this operation's center to be rear admiral john bitoff the emergency operations center for the city and county of san francisco. [applause]
. >> well, thank you very much very much mayor. it's a pleasure working with you. you're a consummate servant and it's a great pleasure working with the great people that manage this city and i thought it would be worth while if i could just take a couple of minutes, and i have the mayor's permission to make a couple of remarks and to tell you that i first set foot on this spot the day after the 1989 lo preaida earth yaik. mayor jordan --
mayor agnose called me and said "i need help". i said "i will do whatever i can". he said "can you meet with me and i have a laundry list of things" and absolutely where do you want to meet? i am at the command center on turk street. i asked what the cross streets are. you know the bridge is down. can i land my helicopter there? yeah and lee got the police to clear the park. >> >> i came in here. the mayor was waiting for me and he took me down in the basement of the fire department communication's center to what was the fire department was the bedroom for the firefighters in the 911 --
in their 911 -- in their portion of the 911. i couldn't believe it. they moved beds aside, and they had butcher paper on the wall and i will never forget this. there was a consiewl general talking long distance on one of the out going lines and nobody could get him off the phone. people were coming in off the streets. it was terrible. i could not believe that a great city like this did not have a proper command center. as i walked a way with the mayor i said something that i later regretted. someone asked me "what did you think?" and i said "i felt like i just came out of a mississippi
sheriff's office". it was grim, grim. and there is a lesson in that. issue careful what you wish for and be careful what criticize and who you criticize because you maybe wearing it. i responded to the mayor's request. we eventually had marine corps personnel and conducting recovery and rescue and we rescued all kinds of people from the collapsed freeway and we brought an aircraft carrier in here and took the heat off of the city and took 500 homeless people on the aircraft carrier for a week. it was a wonderful exercise in taking care of the more fragile
among us. anyway fast forward three and a half years newly elected mayor he asks me to be the director of emergency services and i really didn't want to do it because of what i have seen and he went to my house and my wife wanted to. >> >> live in san francisco so my goose was cooked. i took over the job and i planned to return to the east coast. there was one staff member, no vehicles, no money, no nothing, and through the good efforts of a director of public works at the time they built seismically configured foundations and they brought in double wides and built the interim emergency command center which is the community building over there and that was where we were. no
furniture, no telephones, no nothing. i came the first day and ask where is the command center? it's in construction. it's that area in the park and you have one employee. she's not really yours. she was the mayor's pir, public relations person, and she's been -- apparently that was siberia for seem for people from the mayor's office so anyway -- i mean you have to tell it like said mr. mayor. when you take a job like this you get all kinds of advice from people. i wish i got more help than i got advice and one of the pieces of advice said got said "you want to get rid of her immediately. she's a pain in the stern sheets. she's rude.
and she uses bad words" , so i met her and i immediately liked her, and i immediately admired her. i have enough experience and i don't give a dam about the packaging. i want to know what is inside. this woman was so smart. she helped me so much to navigate the board of supervisors. you have to realize now coming out of the navy and into san francisco politics is like coming out of a convent. you know it is. it was not easy, and so -- that woman helped me. she knew the clerk of the board. she knew the president of the board. she knew everyone. she knew how to write the memos and we became fast friends and that's when -- in fact she just wanted to get
enough time to retire and get health benefits and i liked her so much i had a party for her in my home. anne kronberg was there and head of the mayor's office on criminal justice, and her name was eileen maloney. she was terrific. assistant police chief by the name of frank reid tried to dissuade me from taking the job. "don't take it and two weeks later if something happens they will blame you" but i like to take on jobs. well, he kind of felt sorry for me, and i had no vehicles, nothing, no employees. the door bell rang and there is a police officer outside and the chief sent these keys. you have a unmarked police car until you get a vehicle. well, i paid
them back. three weeks later i was driving down venice and left on to broadway and the radio went on and strong arm robbery in pacific heights and woman assaulted and bag stolen and identified the car and two individuals and proceeding north on lawenna. gee, i am going in that direction. i have a naval aif eightor's eye and incredible eye sight and wouldn't you know it there is the vehicle coming straight towards me and the traffic was slow and could reach out and touch and i made a u turn and i got on the roo. the director of
radio services had a call sign at the time and close to the police chiefs. i got on and called in and there was a pregnant pause. and they said "who are you sir?" and i said "i'm the director of emergency services" a "are you a police officer?" "no, i'm not" and do you have a gun? no, i don't. "you should be careful and don't approach that car" and "need help and he's making a left" and by the time we got to geary black and whites were all over the place and apprehended the person and i got a call from alex faigen who was the later the police chief. he was a friend of mine. he said "well, admiral do we have to give you credit for an assisted arrest"
and i said "you bet your life too and i also want a sf tv star" and anyway those small things happen. i paid the police department and the city back. we put this together with a group of volunteerses, the original command center. the wonderful volunteers that exist in san francisco. not people advising you but people coming here doing stuff and they represented the great cross section of san francisco. had two retired school teachers who came to this temporary building everyday for five years, and provided administrative assistance. they were wonderful. one of them was mary louise green. dave ebberly -- you haven't heard that name.
he was the guy bouncing around and i found out he was the volunteer driver of the emergency vehicle that we had which was parked in a fire house at the other end of the city and get a call at 2:00 o'clock in the morning and get in that vehicle, and i later learned -- i'm sorry dave. i didn't understand at the time. it was manual transmission and manual brakes and i wish i could have hired him and he he is and somebody was smart enough to bring him with when they had sufficient funds. i was assisted by the young turks and the police department. i had deputy sheriffs come here on a first exercise and said "admiral we like what you're doing. we're off duty. can we provide security for you?" . that's the kind of stuff that
happened. it was actually amazing. i had a guy came in here kind of pushy. he started giving me communications advice. somebody said "oh god you don't want to deal with that guy. he's a guy activist. a pain in the neck" and let me follow you something i lived my whole life with heterosexual pains in the next and he's genius. and most of the communication center was developed by that guy. it's not the packaging. i frequently sign for my supper. rich ard golden the great fill an to 50 here in the city. >> >> >> asked me to speak before the
presidio homeowners association and i did and do you know what happened after? a young woman identified herself as the head of a small family foundation and said "what do you need admiral?" and i need computers and pentium computers came out and were the fastest thing. i need those computers. all three buildings were outfitted by that foundation, by that woman. i had more computers than the police department and the fire department and before i had nothing and it was interesting. i said to the mayor -- mayor jordan how do i approach these people? how do i do it? and he said "well, john i heard you speak before. just throw one of your guilt trips on them" and it worked. i know time is
running out. i will make this quick but i wanted you to know how we got here. it didn't happen. it wasn't magic and this building as the mayor told you was a direct result of a tragedy on 101 california street and went up in the building and the crazed gun man killed all those people and i asked to build this building for a long time and the mayor knows that and all of a sudden the money was available and the mayor asked me to do a investigation and it was in the papers and unbelievable. you know it's difficult to investigate the police department. it is. my father is a police officer. you have to walk carefully, and i came to the mayor and i said "mayor jordan -- i said it's a
dog's breakfast. 911 is broken. they don't practice the incident command system. they do in each department but it's all stove pipe. the radios didn't work in the enclosed stair wells, and i said mr. mayor i'm -- a lot of this goes back to your time as the police chief and before, so if you want me to cease and desist. i understand political imperatives. if you want me to cease and desist i will. i will not change the report but if you want someone else to do the report it's fine. very honorable mayor jordan said "no, tell it like it is" and i did and that report is available. it's available. it's a damming
report but gave birth to this building and all the good things going on here. it allowed me to change the radios of the police department, the fire department, the paramedics and bring in 800 mega hurtz and not what oakland had but the simulcast radios and departments didn't want toking on the same but we put them on it and you're probably in the next genraition of those radios right now and by the way -- there was a man here who preceded the mayor. it was then called the chief administrative officer and rudy rothenberg and incredible civil servant and i worked with him on this building. in fact i drew this building. i had architecture